08/10/2013 5:58PM

Saratoga: Rocco uses patient ride to win Auntie Mame with Summer of Fun

Barbara D. Livingston
Summer of Fun and jockey Joe Rocco rallied for a 1 1/2-length victory Saturday in the Auntie Mame Stakes.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Jockey Joe Rocco’s summer of fun continued at Saratoga on Saturday, as he guided the favored Summer of Fun to a 1 1/2-length victory in the $100,000 Auntie Mame Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on turf.

Effie Trinket, who set the pace under Joel Rosario, held second by a neck over Joy.

The win was the third of the day, the ninth of the meet, and the third stakes success for Rocco, who is riding full time at Saratoga for the first time.

“Ecstatic, great day,” Rocco said.

“I’m so glad for him; he’s a great jockey,” said George Weaver, the trainer of Summer of Fun, who also used Rocco on Grade 1 Prioress winner Lighthouse Bay earlier this meet. “I’m glad that people are getting to see how good he is. I’m also the benefactor of that. He’s a very smart rider. He rode Lighthouse Bay perfect, and he rode this one perfect.”

Rocco kept Summer of Fun in fourth position and in the clear while several paths off the rail as Effie Trinket set fractions of 24.82 seconds for the quarter, 50.15 for the half-mile, and 1:15.24 for six furlongs.

Weaver instructed Rocco to wait as long as he could to pull the trigger on Summer of Fun, and she had to make a five-wide move around the far turn and into the stretch. But when Rocco did ask her to run, Summer of Fun accelerated and caught Effie Trinket near the sixteenth pole.

Summer of Fun, a daughter of Include owned by Bona Venture Stables, covered the 1 1/16 miles over good turf in 1:44.66 and returned $5.50.

“I told him, ‘You’re going to feel like you have a bunch of horse and want to make a move; maybe wait a little bit longer and time it right,’ ” said Weaver, who won his sixth race of the meet. “She went ahead and followed through. He was patient with her. On the far turn, I was confident that unless she didn’t handle the give in the ground, we were good from the quarter pole home.”

Weaver said Summer of Fun would be pointed to the Grade 1 Garden City at Belmont Park on Sept. 14.

“We haven’t seen the best out of her yet,” Weaver said. “I think she’s got big things in front of her. Hopefully, she can use this race to go on forward and make that happen.”